Thursday, 20 February 2020


This morning got off to quite a good start. As always the climber happened and the walking on the platform happened, and between the two I was showing 10K steps on the pedomater by the time I got to work, which was nice because it poured at lunchtime and I only managed to force myself out of the office for 20 mins or so. Yes, I was back in the office today, and amazingly the journey to work was the best its been for ages. I would guess a lot of people gave up on that train after yesterday because it was nowhere near as crowded as usual - and actually ran on time.
I was fairly busy all day so there wasn't time to get bored, but not stressed enough to feel like I was drowning.So pretty good, all round. Foodwise also good - definitely feels liek the keto / low carb thing is suiting me these days and I;m not missing sweet things as much I would have expected (though occasionally a bit - but I can satisfy those cravings with low sugar protein bars and atkins snacks. Its expensive, but it works.)

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Tuesday even later than usual

Today I worked from home after leaving for work to discover that my train had been cancelled. Later trains did run - although not on time - and I'm told were very overcrowded as you'd expect after that kind of start to the day. I chose not to risk being crammed in like a sardine given that my back was still painful from the journey home on Monday.
I did use the climber in the morning as it seems to help, warming my muscles and making them more mobile - as long as I don't do anything silly like trying to lift my body weight with my arms instead of my legs - and then worked through the morning listening to the rain and wind outside. It stopped raining by lunchtime though, so I took the opportunity to go for a walk. Of course it did catch me out, but only when I was heading home afterwards with only 10 mins left to go, so I wasn't too annoyed about that.
In the evening I did a new yoga practice aimed at back pain - yin yoga, aka restorative yoga, which is very gentle - and tried to start another one but quickly gave up because I couldn't manage one of the postures AT ALL. But I'm getting better at other postures (slowly but surely) so that doesn't bother me the way it used to. Although I winpishly avoid practices which involve the downward dog - I suppose I really should be challenging myself to do my least favourite pose EVER. Maybe tomorrow...

Tuesday, 18 February 2020


Well, that weekend was a literal wash out wasn’t it?
On Friday I worked from home, did 2 yoga videos and used the climber as well as walking to the shop at lunchtime. I must have been feeling fairly energetic, mustn’t I? It didn’t last till Saturday though I struggled to sleep through the noisy weather Friday night, I did my shopping early so I could beat the approaching storm, then didn’t leave the house again until I headed for work this morning (this morning = Monday, I’ll point out since I’ll probably not remember to post this today). I intended on Saturday to do at least one yoga practice, plus use the climber and possibly do a walk / run indoors video. I did none of those things. I read books, cooked, and watched TV. That was it. I was using all my energy in self-pity, which I feel bad about given how horrendous the flooding was in some parts of South Wales. I’m lucky I guess that I live half way down a hill, so the nearest road turns into a river every time but it rushes down past us.
Sunday was better. I did go on the climber, and I did two yoga practices to make up for missing Saturday. I also started watching a movie but didn’t finish it, read some books, and cooked. I seem to spend half the weekend cooking for the following week. I’m sure I could organise that better but I’m too busy cooking to have time for planning. Even though I whipped up a quick Atkins soup and a slightly tweaked Atkins frittata which both supplied me with 4 servings and therefore covered all the time I would be likely to be in the office. I was also making a huge pan of bone broth which doesn’t exactly take a lot of ongoing attention. I’m not sure how I managed to spend so much time on it… Ah well, luckily I don’t dislike cooking. One thing I did which was more for fun than necessity was making another batch of kimchi – falling inbetween the last two batches in terms of heat. I used white cabbage, celery and broccoli stems for the vegetables, looking forward to trying it! I read that broccoli (and brussels sprouts) kimchi smells like a roomful of spicy farts which sounds appealing 😊 but the broccoli in mine is definitely in the minority compared to the quantity of cabbage and celery so I seem to have escaped that.
I slept a little bit better last night, and got straight onto the climber once I got up so I couldn’t talk myself out of it. I weighed myself after training (which I know is cheating because of the temporary water loss of sweating) and had another happy weigh in (taken with a pinch of salt).
The train journey this morning was another exercise in frustration and rage. It again arrived in Cardiff 20 mins late because the train company responsible for Welsh trains can’t handle rain. They claimed it was due to flooding near the starting point of the journey but apparently some people who got on the train at the beginning of the journey didn’t agree, so it may just have been typical train company incompetence. Especially as I’m told their services managed to run on time yesterday while the storm was still raging. (Gossip may not be true)  I did get to walk up and down the platform for an extra 10 minutes today though so between that and the climber my pedometer was claiming I’d done my 10K steps before I even got to the office, which wasn’t a bad thing given that I had to cut my lunch short again. Annoyingly this happened on a day I had to take a parcel to the post office, which I did, and by taking an early lunchbreak managed to get done in my 20 minutes, rather than going at 12 and spending 20 minutes queueing.
My journey home was a nightmare thanks to the continuing saga of Transport for Wales failing to deal with the situation. I actually got home around the usual time, as far as I could tell my train was the first one for about an hour - and it was only two carriages. When it arrived at my station it was already unconfortably crammed with sitting and standing passengers, and only about half a dozen people including myself managed to board at the door I used. But the next train was showing as 'Delayed' with no ETA and I didn't want to be standing there at 6pm, so I shoehorned myself on board then held my breath for 15 minutes as there wasn't room to move.  Apparently a landlside down the far end of the route had (presumbaly) covered or damaged the track, and a lot of the rolling stock was stuck there because that's where the depot is.
By the time I got home I was stressed as hell - not as stressed as the people who'd been flooded, admittedly, but not happy - and by the time I was ready for yoga I only had the strength to do my easiest relaxation and stress relief bedtime practice. It wasn't quite as effective as it usually is, but then I was coming from a worse place. It did its job well enough to let me get to sleep eventually.
Today the Met Office has issued a yellow warning of rain for Cardiff and for my home area....

Friday, 14 February 2020

Thursday late too...

Yesterday was horrible. I was stressed, angry, and depressed to a degree that meant I struggled to talk to people and didn’t have the energy to post, so no Wednesday post, late or otherwise. I’m not going to inflict that on you because I’m too nice… or because I don’t want to think about it anymore, take your pick. Today I’m feeling a bit better anyway, working from home and resting from the climber because of pain and also because the forecast for this weekend suggests I’m going to rely heavily on it to get any exercise at all.
I know this sounds ridiculous but I think I actually managed to pull a muscle in my back coughing when I had the flu over Christmas, and its still quite painful. Last night I didn’t yoga because of it (well that and the whole massive depression thing). Whereas my established bad back affects the lower right side of my back, this is higher up – mid back – and on the left side. During the flu it was painful enough to make me wonder if I had a chest infection (that happened to me once before) but I’m recovered from the flu and still hurting, so I guess its not that. Anyway most of the time I’m taking an active approach to trying to fix it but yesterday I just didn’t care enough.
Today was better though. As I said, I didn’t use the climber because I need at least one rest day and its unlikely to be at the weekend. I did however walk to Sainsburys at lunchtime, and it was even sunny (though not warm) and pleasant. I did manage to do yoga as well this evening (taking it carefully on focusing on routines aimed at easing back pain). Out of the office I didn’t have to spend the day swallowing down certain stresses and frustrations and even though nothing that was bothering me yesterday was resolved, I did manage to not stew over it as much. I think that’s an improvement given that none of my bitching and moaning yesterday did anything to fix them either.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Tuesday also late

Today got off to an OK start when I got up, climbered, reached the station ad walked as always. The train was running 5 mins late at my station, so I walked for an extra 5 mins and didn’t mind that. But that’s when it started going wrong, as the train was just late enough to screw with Transport for Wales’ timetable, and we then spent half the journey moving from one station to the next, sitting at the station for 5 or more minutes, then moving on to the next station and sitting there for five minutes… I reached work twenty minutes late thanks to all of that, which is time I had to make up, and because I hate staying late at work marginally more than I would hate having my hand chopped off (ok, hyperbole, but I’m annoyed) that means cutting my lunch break in half. Which in turn means less walking at lunchtime and less options to blow off steam before going back to my desk.
So I got off to a bad tempered start to the day, and it wasn’t easy to get over it later because I hold grudges and wallow in negativity. Overall though, I didn’t eat too badly and did do all my desired exercise including 2 yoga practices, so I guess I shouldn’t complain tooooo much

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Late Monday post - again

Hi everybody, hope you avoided damage and hassle from Storm Ciara over the weekend? I think it hit Wales harder than most of England, and it certainly was very unpleasant on Sunday in my hilly corner. We had thunder, hail, rain, winds of up to 61 mph (a balmy breeze compared to some people but enough to make me hibernate indoors).
On Saturday (a very lovely day with relatively mild temps and no rain) I took my climber rest day and just walked into town for my main exercise, with yoga in the evening. On Sunday I knew the weather would be appalling so I wanted to be sure I had the climber to get my blood moving indoors, and it certainly did in the morning. In the afternoon I tried a walk/run indoors workout with Leslie Sansone – a 15 min, approx. 1 mile workout – and I (sort of) enjoyed that – it definitely got my heart rate up and made me sweat a bit! As I’m still having some back pain (in a different place from the usual everyday back pain) I used my gentlest and ‘easiest’ yoga video in the evening and that did ease the pain a bit. But I literally didn’t leave the house, even to go up to the garage, all day, and I have no idea if any damage was caused locally as a result.
This morning I struggled a little bit to get out of bed. The high winds – noisy high winds – continued and gave me a fairly disturbed night. I woke up quite early and didn’t appreciate my alarm one bit. However, I managed the usual routine of climber and station walking and that helped wake me up somewhat, along with a substantial amount of coffee. I was both surprised and impressed that my train ran on time this morning – frankly more so than a lot of mornings. It was also dry (and windy) first thing. That didn’t last – it rained in the morning and it rained in the afternoon but unexpectedly it managed to be dry at lunchtime so that I could be out taking a small walk, even sunny in fact. That didn’t last long either of course.
I have to admit that I was hungry for ages today. It was the usual hunger that comes after a bad night’s sleep and I did manage to stick to foods approved on my diet, so I’m not feeling too guilty about that. Oh, who am I kidding? The individual items were approved but not in the quantity I consumed. It turned into a mini binge and I do feel bad about that. But I don't have the snacks I overindulged int any more, so I can't repeat it today.

Friday, 7 February 2020

Thursday catch up

I worked from home today, which is a much better way to spend a work day! I got up at the usual time and felt less knackered, so I guess I slept better. I had a couple of coffees before training, and the combination of being more rested and being caffeinated meant that I did perform better on the climber this morning. I also went for a very decent walk at lunchtime. I get a longer lunch break when working from home because I can start work earlier in the morning than the train allows, and finish at the same time despite not having to dash for a train home. I hit a local trail / cycle path to just walk and walk. It was cold but sunny and really pleasant. The trail in question was built on a defunct railway line (scrapped in the Beeching cuts of the 60s after the Welsh industrial boom stopped booming) so it isn't along busy roads and runs through trees, fairly flat and level and very well maintained.
However, work wasn't as good as I found out today that I'm being loaned to a different team at work for 6-9 months. I can't deny that it doesn't have to be a problem - my last secondment was also supposed to be for 6 months but turned into a supposedly permanent move over 2 years ago, to a team that I really like - but I know that the manager I'll be working for has some issues, and is less popular with his staff than my current boss is. He doesn't yet know about my bad back and the accommodations my current manager has made for it, so after listing some of the reasons why working from home is best, it may be about to get harder for me to do that. In which case you will be amazed to hear that I expect to inflict a great deal of moaning, whinging and complaining about it to you, my patient readers. I apologise in advance.
If that is the case I will try not to let it knock me off my stride, but I would be lying if I said it would make no difference at all to my ability to keep training - or stick to my eating plan. I was very grumpy all morning (another benefit to working from home - I didn't have to put on a happy face) and I'm still not what you'd call pleased. Ironically this has arisen from me expressing an interest in getting some experience of the work they do, but I envisaged and suggested a much less formal shadowing arrangement rather than a wholesale move. What will be, will be and all that. Maybe it will be good for me to get out of my comfort zone. Maybe I'll discover something I like better than testing (in all honesty - that is possible, since I can't say I really like testing.
Of course that's not what I think is going to happen.
Enough moaning. For now. Enz, I'm so jealous of your treadmill. I don't currently have room for one (we chose the versaclimber because it has the smallest footprint of a treadmill, an elliptical trainer (my personal favourite) and a versaclimber. The elliptical holds my heart but when on holiday I've enjoyed a treadmill too.